The Potato Industry Extension Program will showcase a new wave of valuable research and development (R&D) information later this month at the 2013 AUSVEG National Convention Trade Show, to be held at Jupiters Gold Coast from 30 May – 1 June.

Cutting-edge potato R&D projects will be on display at the designated Potato Extension Exhibition Booth, which will include special appearances from leading industry researchers who will discuss their work with Trade Show delegates one-on-one.

“The Potato Extension Program is working to ensure that our industry has a golden future. By providing practical information on R&D activities the program is helping potato growers and processors to understand and benefit from the latest farming practices, tools and technologies that will strengthen their operations,” said Mr Raggatt.

AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing more than 2,000 potato growers.

Amongst the researchers joining the exhibit is Dr Calum Wilson, from the University of Tasmania, who received the prestigious Researcher of the Year Award at the 2012 AUSVEG National Awards for Excellence. Dr Wilson will be present to inform potato levy payers about several important R&D projects on the management of key potato viruses, pests and diseases.

Dr Kathy Ophel Keller, from the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), will also be on hand at the booth to discuss the development of a DNA testing service for soil-borne pathogens, which has been widely praised by the Australian potato industry for the significant benefits it will deliver.

“This research project is at a very exciting stage, with the commercial roll-out of a DNA testing service expected to occur later this year. By analysing soil for disease levels and susceptibility, the service will help growers to reduce the risk of soil-borne diseases developing and allow them to make better decisions prior to planting,” said Mr Raggatt.

The 2013 AUSVEG National Convention will be attended by around 1,000 delegates involved with the Australian vegetable and potato industries; while close to 70 exhibition booths will be on display at the Trade Show component of the event, including agri-businesses from across the horticulture supply chain and farming equipment manufacturers.

“The Australian potato industry is currently facing wave after wave of challenges – including rising input costs and a surge of imported food products that are flooding the market,” said Mr Raggatt.

“The Potato Extension Program booth will serve as another important means of communicating to potato levy payers some of the beneficial R&D work that is currently being conducted both in Australia and abroad, which if properly utilised, will help producers stay competitive in the years ahead,” said Mr Raggatt.

This communication has been funded by Horticulture Australia Limited using the National Potato Levies and matched funds from the Australian Government.

MEDIA CONTACT: Luke Raggatt, AUSVEG Spokesperson.
Phone: (03) 9822 0388, Mobile: 0403 827 822, Email: